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Color Contrast Redux

Kidd Krasner

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As I stated recently in another thread, I'm pleased that the default color scheme here is legible.  My recollection of the previous system is that I found it intolerable, not because it was too bright or harsh (a different problem), but because the contrast was so poor as to make it illegible.

The current scheme, though much better, errs in the other direction by using #FFFFFF (pure white) as the background, which, though fine for me, is too bright for many users.  A simple change to #F0F0F0 would be an improvement, though I'm sure there are plenty of suggestions on the web for off-white backgrounds that could be even nicer.

However, although the main text passes all the tests on the color contrast analyzer that I use, the text in other places doesn't.  Most notable are quotes, which fail both the color difference test and the AAA level of the luminosity test.  Likewise, the text color in the editor fails both those tests (though with slightly different numbers).  The latter is inexcusable, as unlike quotes, there's no motivation for using a lighter text in the editor.  (Improving the presentation of quotes is a separate issue, as it's more than just contarst.)

Color contrast isn't rocket science, and an awareness of both the guidelines and the various tools that are available should be a minimum requirement for any professional web style designer. 

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